Though you might raise your eyebrows at Baku’s claim to be ‘Europe’s Easternmost Country’ you can’t deny how formidable Azerabaijan has become in only a short-time at Eurovision. The Land of Fire delivers sizzling songstresses, ballads that are the envy of many and catchy earworm lyrics that stay with you long after the last country’s votes are in. They’ve racked up five Top 5 finishes from six appearances, averaging 182 Points and four sets of 12 Points per contest. In 2011 they won the Contest with ‘Running Scared.’

Recent History:

2013: Farid Mammadov with ‘Hold Me’, 2nd Place with 234 Points

2012: Sabina Babayeva with ‘When The Music Dies’, 4th Place with 150 Points

2011: Ell & Nikki with ‘Running Scared’, 1st Place with 221 Points

2010: Safura with ‘Drip Drop’, 5th Place with 145 Points

2009: AySel & Arash with ‘Always’, 3rd Place with 207 Points

2008: Elnur and Samir with ‘Day After Day’, 8th Place with 132 Points

Finals Qualified For: 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013.

Song Stats:

How often are Ell and Nikki ‘running’ in Running Scared? 17 Times

Number of Times Safura accuses ‘You’ in Drip Drop: 12 Times

How often did Farid Mammadov want holding in 2013? 8 Times.

How often have Malta and Turkey awarded Azerbaijan 12 Points? Twice

Best Scoring Entry:

Farid Mamadov with ‘Hold Me’, 2nd Place with 234 Points

Farid wasn’t exactly a dark horse in the competition given Azerbaijan’s formidable Top 5 pedigree. But ‘Hold Me’ proved a surprise runner up in 2013, bypassing stronger rated acts to pose a real challenge to Emmelie De Forest. Farid won the most sets of 12 Points on the night. With an earworm chorus, intriguing if slightly bizarre staging on the night and Farid’s handsome good looks it isn’t hard to see why Azerbaijan fared so well this year in Malmö. Sadly for Farid it seems it was just a little to soon to go back to Baku for Europe.

Most Memorable Lyrics: “I’d swim across the ocean if you’d call.” Dedication right there – he’s a keeper!

Worst Scoring Entry:

Elnur and Samir with ‘Day After Day’, 8th Place with 132 Points

Herein lies the reason why Azerbaijan have ever since outsourced production for their Eurovision entry. This is pretty much everything that was wrong about Eurovision in the mid-2000s. Stupid falsetto vocal, ridiculous outfits for dancers and vocalists, and a stupid gimmick that gave Eurovision a bad name. The fact it blends into a rock song halfway through is jarring. That being said, it’s not all that bad a thing to say your worst ever entry is a Top 10…

Most Memorable Lyrics: “Our feelings play with us, but you must keep yourself under control, if you’re searching for resolves, be ready for the tolls.” In hindsight, singing for Baku has not proved such a toll after all.

http://youtu.be/rxXQ9W4RfQA

What Team Wiwi Have To Say About Azerbaijan:

Daphne Dee: Since 2009 the best has always been ‘Always’! Really catchy and two great vocalists! If only I could say the same for ‘Running Scared’ – my ears still hurt from the live performance.

Katie Wilson: ‘Hold Me’ is easily the best song from Azerbaijan. It’s catchy and the ultimate karaoke song! ‘Running Scared’ is a world away – it’s just a really awkward Disney Duet.

Zach Thomas: Safura’s way ahead of Azerbaijan’s other entries. She belted out ‘Drip Drop’ like no other on the Oslo stage! ‘Hold Me’, on the other hand, is just boring and Farid came across as narcissistic. He had a good voice, but there wasn’t much else going for the song.

Wiwi: I’m torn between Safura and Aysel & Arash as the best in Azerbaijan’s history. That duet was fierce, but Safura is my gurrrrl. Anyone who can swim in a sea of toilet paper and still look elegant gets my vote. The fact that she hired Beyonce’s choreographer and wore one glove on stage Michael Jackson style really warms the heart. I don’t have to debate Azerbaijan’s worst entry: 2008 was painful!

There’s a lot of Wiwi Love for AySel and Arash and Safura, and a surprising amount of hate for winning song ‘Running Scared’. What do you all think? Should Sabina Babayeva have had a mention somewhere for that dress? Did the Angels of Azerbaijan take you to your heaven in 2008? And what’s your favourite act from Azerbaijan? Vote in our poll below (you can only vote one time, but you can vote for as many acts as you’d like).

You can check out all of our country profiles by clicking here.

Angus Quinn contributed this report from the U.K. You can follow him on Twitter at @Angus_Quinn17. Then like our Facebook page to keep up-to-date with all the latest news and gossip.

Photo: Alan Douit (EBU)

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D
Guest
D

2008 (Elnur & Samir, ‘Day After Day’) – This was just terrible, this is literally the one song from Azerbaijan that I was not obsessed with at one time, it was just, I don’t even know. Too weird and out there. 2009 (AySel & Arash, ‘Always’) – Not my favourite song from Azerbaijan, but it’s up there, AySel’s voice annoyed me at times but it was still a very good song. I’m not sure if it deserved 3rd place but it definitely deserved top 10. 2010 (Safura, ‘Drip Drop’) – My absolute favourite song from Azerbaijan. It was amazing, everything… Read more »

MoOn-FLoWeR
Guest

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Ayshen
Guest
Ayshen

@Jordan

All clever people know that it is not impossible to buy points. If this was possible all strong countries ( like Italy, UK, France etc) would have bought points. But all of us know that these countries can’t be winner. Have you thought about it? and at the end our country is very democratic republic. Please don’t worry for us 😉

Sofia UK
Guest
Sofia UK

Azerbaijan won Eurovision in 2011 and got top places the other years. I don’t like their entry in 2008 but still it was ok for the first time. This country is a good example and trendsetter in Eurovision. Do you remember Sabina’s dress in 2012? and what do you think about Aliona Moon’s dress in 2013? how about the same kind of tune at the beginning of the Austrian song this year which was almost same as in Running Scared in 2011? Other countries simply try to copy Azeri parts of staging or songs hoping for the same success in… Read more »

Oualid
Guest
Oualid

I like that Azerbaidjan takes this contest very seriously.
Not like France and UK (a complete waste of time watching their entries and their performances).

Inge
Guest
Inge

Their best entry was ‘Always’, it was catchy and the performance was quite nice. Their worst song was ‘Running Scared’, no doubt. How did that even get into the final, let alone win the whole thing(especially when you think about the fact that Eric Saade was competing that year, but that’s another discussion). But, to be honest, I’ve never really liked their songs. Also, whenever I hear/see one of their songs, I can’t help but think about the fact that they live in a country ruled by a dictator.

Ben
Guest
Ben

Without Azerbaijan it wouldn’t ve been much fun. We do remember their entries and love most of them. Not only Azerbaijan got money but lots of other European countries as well. Still they send really dull and poor entries we don’t really remember. At the end of the day it’s the biggest music TV show in the world and we need more entries as Azeri ones.

David Thielen
Guest

For those asking why Azerbaijan receives so many negative comments, here’s why. Some of it is jealousy. Some of it is the distinct possibility that Azerbaijan is buying votes.
But the biggest reason is that Azerbaijan is a dictatorship. Belarus gets the same attitude for the same reason. Both countries have a fundamentally immoral political system.

il pleut
Guest
il pleut

”always” and ”hold me” are definitely my favorites………..

il pleut
Guest
il pleut

Safura ” Drip- drop ” is missing…………

Wolf girl
Guest

Fikri what is your problem with azerbaijan you always write bad word about azerbaijan you said that azerbaijan buy eurovision money of oil but it is stupid idea. it is europa and there are so may rich countries at eruvision and they can not buy eurovision. for example UK
stop jealous and Azerbaijan always send great songs at eurovision song contest.
for me best are Samir Elnur day after day, and Farid Mammadov hold me

R
Guest
R

I think it’s really amusing, all the controversies and such surrounding Azerbaijan and how much some people hate them.

At the end of the day, they always produce high quality songs and performance are most of the time memorable. They actually CARE about their entries, that’s why it pays off.

Arianna
Guest
Arianna

Always in my heart 😀 Love that one.. But I actually love the studio version of Running Scared. I agree the vocals were weak live, but it remained my favourite song in the contest & their chemistry on stage along with the bright white presentation worked very well. It was a sweet number 🙂

Jordan
Guest
Jordan

@Ayshen

Who the hell would be jealous of a communist country? All of your songs (except for Drip Drop) have been mediocre. But then again… Azerbaijan is known to buy points… so go figure.

Zolan
Guest

Elnur and Samir’s “Day After Day” still impresses me most; audacious, but diplomatic.
Rock-opera. Two guys singing a duet. Falsetto and mugham. Panto. Religious symbolism.
And the message? “Look, we’ve been bad, but we don’t have to let it define us. Every day is another opportunity to strive for good.”
Something to rub everyone the wrong way, if only subconsciously.
And it works musically; tight arrangement, turbulent vocals.
Wogan-free studio version: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kzl6KvLTy2A

takecare
Guest
takecare

2009 great song, backing vocals helped alot, specially Arash!
2010 great song, she was ok, backing vocals some of the worst i ve heard!
2012 great song, great live
2013 great great
overall great eurovision country song-wise, cuz i like alot their songs, not contest-wise, ending place….
i dont wanna talk about 2011 and 2008- awful

nigar
Guest
nigar

Aysel ve Arash meni cox heyecanlandirmisdi,heyifki qazana bilmedi . amma temsilcilerimizde mahnilarida hamissi bir birinden gozeldi

Alex
Guest
Alex

Elnur and Samir were the best, hands down. DAYYYY AFTAH DAYYYYYYYYY ….. LOOOOOOOK INSIDE YOURSELF Seriously. Apart from that, Sabina for 2nd best Azeri performance – flawless vocals and incredible staging. The worst one was Always. I seriously don’t know how that got 3rd place. Ugly performance and bad live vocals. Hold Me stood out in a year of underwhelming songs and performances, even though the song itself is generic as you can possibly get. Drip Drop… well, I’m glad it got screwed over by the running order instead of winning like people thought it would! I mean, the song’s… Read more »

Sema
Guest
Sema

Ell Nikki love youuuu

Ayshen
Guest
Ayshen

It was amazing all of them.Yeah, Although it is difficult to accept for Europe but we could become the most powerful at Eurovision.This is undeniable fact. I apologize to all the jealous people :)) And at the end UK need a better song and representative for Eurovision. Azerbaijan is not culprit for them 😉

Pablo Nava
Member

I’m not a fan of their outsourcing. I’m still waiting for something with deep Azeri roots and meaning, but many of their entries are extremly shallow.

I enjoyed 2008, 2009 and 2012 (Sabina should’ve been their first winner. It comes closer to what’s said above)
I can’t wrap my head around the fact their 2011 entry won, 2010 is good, albeit a bit cheap in presentation. Farid’s was a very flat song, but with an amazing presentation.

If they’re going to stay in top, better send stuff that’s worth it.

Fikri
Guest
Fikri

solid proof of what oil money can get you.

Anthony Ko
Editor

I couldn’t agree more with you Wiwi Bloggs! Azerbaijan definitely put the UK to shame in terms of the effort and commitment they put into their entries, not forgetting the passion from the Azerbaijani public.

William Lee Adams
Admin

Azerbaijan wins the award for consistency. The U.K. needs to ask them for help on the process of creating a winner. From 2009 onward they have simply been amazing. I still love Safura the best 🙂

Tiggeh
Guest
Tiggeh

maybe I am just strange, even though I purchased their winning entry, the only Azeri tune I really love so far was Day after Day by Elnur and Samir

Naglis
Guest
Naglis

In my opinion Azerbaijan is the best country in Eurovision, I love their entries every year <3 Greetings from Lithuania 🙂

Shehla
Guest
Shehla

all Azerbaijan entries amazing <3